Public Hearings Concerning the Evolving Intellectual Property Marketplace
The ongoing extensions of copyright term will lead to the complete loss of works with no commercial value which will not automatically enter the public domain by the time they physically deteriorate. Such works cannot even be digitally copied legally. Because there is no registry of who currently holds a copyright to a given work, such as an old film, it can be impossible to track down current copyright holders, until such a film would be copied and re-published, and you are contacted by their lawyers. Commercially valuable works should require inexpensive (such as $1), easy online registration in order for their owners to continue to hold copyright after 20 years or so. This would allow other works to pass into the Public Domain, for the benefit of the future of our culture. It is a shame to loose these works, in an age where they can be preserved forever with current technology, only because copyright terms have been extended to protect the IP of a small minority of copyright holders, such as Disney.